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advocate rajesh

Time has come When we need a Nation Information Commission.

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advocate rajesh

The not only SPIO and CPIO have started killing RTI ......but we are getting confusing judgments on the same issue , even commissions are not passing good quality judgments . This is certainly not good for the health of RTI in future. If we have NIC it can have a check over the judgments passed by the state commissions and cic. Each and every citizen can not approach High Court and they are not at all getting relief from commissions .

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Prasad GLN

As an Advocate, atleast you have the opportunity of filing writs on each of such decisions, on behalf of affected parties but several of those appellants can not even appear persona hearing at State Commissions also.

It is not the Organisations that matter, it is attitude that matters. If attitude is proper, these matters can be completed in the first stage at PIO level itself. Only if PIO is not understanding then it triggers troubles for applicant. (I am talking of only deserved cases only and not self interested applicants)

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sharmajee
As an Advocate, atleast you have the opportunity of filing writs.......It is not the Organisations that matter, it is attitude that matters.....

 

Even persons deciding the writs also come from same society.....not every writ is decided on merits.....miscarriage happens..... and you are left with no option but to accept verdict.....

 

In a recent case with me, hon'ble judges in HC(DB), passed such disappointing judgment without hearing a single line from me....... as RTI matter for them was a petty cause..... I am left with only alternative to go to supreme court, which I can't afford,,,,,and there is no remedy available to complain against this unjustice........

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Prasad GLN

You are absolutely right sir. I still do not understand as to several Public Authorities including those who decide/judge still do not take any RTI application seriously. I do not know other's experience, but the moment a Judge hears RTI applicant, he gets irritation. District Forum is the first Authority to neck out RTI Applicants inspite of the fact that applicants can also be consumers in affected cases even.

 

I still remember, when a writ was filed for compliance of CIC decision against a Public Authority, in view of it's importance, a very Senior and highly reputed HC Judge most famous for land mark judgments even without going into contents warned Applicant's Advocate to witthdraw the same or he will impose costs. Advocate was shivering, and pressed for withdrawal of such writ.

It is another matter, that same Hon.Judge (infact he enjoys fair name for his command on subject) imposed fine/costs against RTI Applicant for not coming up for hearing at HC.

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advocate rajesh

no one is serious....everyone want to kill rti.....keep trying

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Prasad GLN

If a survey is to be conducted on most useful act, all citizens vote for RTI, and for most useless act, all PIO's vote for RTI. I am surprised, to hear from one official that any dept., before providing information to PIO has to prepare an office note and that note has to be approved by head of the organisation, and only after his approval, it goes to PIO. If any draft directly goes to PIO without approval of Head, it will be considered as serious violation and invites warning from Head. PIO is not empowered to provide information without approval of his head (needless to say he is FAA).

For a routine matter available on record such precautions are being taken by some Public Authorities. What we understand from experiences is that a common citizen never misuses RTI Act, it is either insiders(disgruntled/jealousy) in the garb of others or retired employees that misuse Act. Go through several CIC decisions, and mostly they are from suspended employees or retired employees that occupies most of them.

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RAVEENA_O

If you analysis the RTI requests, you will find that a majority of them are not seeking information, but questioning the quality and nature of their actions. That is not the object of the Act. Inspite of best efforts from our portal, we find our members, even after clear guidance, file RTI Applications raising questions eliciting answers from the PIO.

 

PIOs and FAAs may not have hesitation to supply information. The real issue is that nobody seek information but everybody raises questions. It is not obligatory on the part of PIO to answer such queries. Even then, such issues culminate into First Appeals, Second Appeals and finally to writ jurisdiction of Hon'ble High Courts. They know the petition is frivolous, because no information is sought, but a direction is sought to supply the information within a stipulated time limit. How can they grant such a relief?

 

There are failures on two aspects:

 

Section-26. Appropriate Government did not implement educational programmes for the benefit of the public. Though we are nearing to one decade of information seeking, majority of people do not know what is information. The experience in this portal is that, even when we redraft the requests from queries to information, the applicants again file queries before the PIO. They get satisfaction by asking questions rather than seeking information. Unless and until the first part of seeking information is made correctly, the proceedings that follow, shall stand found on erroneous footing.

 

Section-12(5) and 15(5) of the Act. Appointment of ex-bureaucrats as ICs totally defeated the very object and purpose of Information Commissions. Most of them are not good in their decisions. Many support the departmental cause and protect the PIOs. The penalty provisions are rarely invoked even in rarest of the rare cases.

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Dr V S Prasanna Rajan
I am surprised, to hear from one official that any dept., before providing information to PIO has to prepare an office note and that note has to be approved by head of the organisation, and only after his approval, it goes to PIO. If any draft directly goes to PIO without approval of Head, it will be considered as serious violation and invites warning from Head. PIO is not empowered to provide information without approval of his head (needless to say he is FAA).

 

Under the RTI act, the PIO is the sole authority under Section 7(1) read with Section 22 to decide for providing / declining information under the provisions Sections 8(1),9 read with Sections (10,11) of the RTI act, 2005.

 

Further more, Section 21 of the RTI act,2005 protects the bonafide actions of the PIO in consonance of the RTI act and other relevant laws.

 

The RTI act u/s 5(4) provides the PIO to seek assistance from other officials ( including the head of the dept in an appropriate case) within the public authority for efficient discharge of duties and the officials whose assistance is sought is bound to assist the PIO u/s 5(5) read with Section 22 of the RTI act

 

However, the departmental procedure of insisting the PIO to prepare office note for approval from the Head prior to giving the information to the applicant, is contrary to the provisions of the RTI act and kills the efficient operation of the progressive legislation.

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Prasad GLN

With due respects to Great Rajan, what ever he says is most authentic and he replies only in complicated matters and is Chief surgeon of the portal.

I have just mentioned what a PIO has personally told the the practice being following in a large state run undertaking. I do not think that it is different in other organisations. The mention of RTI brings irritation and tremors in PIO, though Act has given him enough protection for all bonafide actions, he has to survive in organisation, and to protect himself if some things go wrong. That is the reason PIO is at the mercy of his superiors most of the times. In a case, I have personally seen FAA dictating PIO's information and asking him to sign, and PIO has not even read that letter and signed.

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Dr V S Prasanna Rajan
In a case, I have personally seen FAA dictating PIO's information and asking him to sign, and PIO has not even read that letter and signed.

 

In the absence of any first appeal proceedings, if any FAA unlawfully usurps the function of the PIO which is otherwise statutorily assigned under RTI act, by dictating PIO's information and asking him to sign, it amounts to an offence under section 186 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

 

Depending upon the state, the offence is either cognizable or non-cognizable.

 

In any state where such offence is non-cognizable , the complaint in writing can be reported to the jurisdictional magistrate for appropriate orders.

 

In any State where such offence is cognizable, a written complaint can be filed either with the jurisdictional magistrate u/s 156(3) CrPC or a written complaint can be filed with the jurisdictional police station to take cognizance of the same.

 

The above mentioned are some of the lawful provisions to protect the PIO to function independently in discharge of his duties under the RTI act.

 

In my own experience, when the PIO was about to give the complete information, the party, who was present there near the PIO and who had vested interest in not providing the complete information, coerced the PIO not to provide the complete information.

 

Hence I have filed a complaint case u/s 186 IPC, regarding the same, which is cognizable in the State of Telangana, for appropriate action and the complaint is again followed up by filing RTI application to the Police department.

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balaraghavan

vsprajan sir, can you attach those complaint and RTI as said in #10 . Also, please state the present status of those above said complaints.

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